A tragic shooting on the South Side of Chicago has taken the life of a 6-month-old baby girl named Jonylah Watkins, months after her mom was shot while carrying the child in her womb.
Relatives of the child conducted a vigil on Monday night while the baby was under doctor's care. After several attempts to revive the baby at Comer Children's Hospital, the baby was pronounced dead this morning.
The incident occurred around 12:50 p.m. Monday. The father of Jonylah, 28-year-old Jonathan Watkins, was reportedly standing on the curb near the 6500 block address of South Maryland in Chicago. He was changing Jonylah's diaper in the front passenger seat of his family van, when suddenly an unidentified man emerged from behind him and opened fire.
Jonylah was shot five times by the gunman. The family confirmed that the 6-month-year old baby was shot in the thigh, shoulder, lung, liver, and bowel areas. Jonathan was also shot in the buttocks and the right side of his face. Jonathan was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital to treat his injuries. He is now in stable condition.
Police officials reported that Jonathan Watkins is known for having gang affiliations. These affiliations may have something to do with this crime and a shooting that happened to the child's mother, Judy Young, seven months ago. Judy was shot in the knee while she was still carrying Jonylah in the womb.
Chicago police department spokesman John Mirabelli spoke to NBC Chicago and stated that after the shooting, the gunman escaped in a blue conversion van. Nearby witnesses confirmed hearing at least 10 gunshots during the incident.
One witness, Patricia McGowan, said that:
I just heard like a lot of shots and skid marks, so that's when I ran to the corner. There is always gunshots and crime in the neighborhood, always drug activity in the neighborhood. ... It's heartbreaking. We're looking for a place to move out immediately because that could have easily been me coming from the bus.
Chicago Pastor Corey Brooks spoke to NBC Chicago about his thoughts on this despicable act:
The city of Chicago should be outraged that a 6-month-old baby could be shot and killed in our city. It's horrific. We're going to find who did this and make sure they are brought to justice. We're not going to be afraid. We're going to take back our neighborhood.
Pastor Brooks also confirmed that a $5,000 reward is being offered to anyone who has any information on the person who committed this crime.